Do you get stuck because you always do global searches on FamilySearch? A better way is to search in specific collections. Below we show you how to see what collections are available for a specific geographic area, such as a state.
As a bonus do you ever browse the images that FamilySearch provides for you online, or do you always just search indexes? I have found tons of relevant documents by browsing the collections that just have images and no index.
Never fear – there is a way to find out how to do all of this – and it is easy peasy.
Check out this one minute video to find out how – yes one minute! You have a minute to spare don’t you? You don’t? Then take more than a minute and read through the descriptive tutorial below. Your choice!
Here are the steps to find state-based collections as well as “browse-only” collections”:
Step 1 – Log in to FamilySearch and bring up the search page. Scroll to the bottom and you should see this:
Step 2 – As an example – click on “United States” and you will be provided with all of the United States collections, presented in “state alphabetical order”
Step 3 – Select a state. As an example – click on “California” and you will be presented with all of the California collections.
If the collection has been indexed (indicated by a number in the “Records” column) then click on the title and you can search it. If the item states “Browse Images”, then no search can be performed but you can indeed browse through the images. Many of the collections’ images have also been subdivided somewhat.
That’s all there is to it. You can see what collections by state are available for searching or browsing. You can also keep track of when the collections have received updates.
Good luck and happy hunting!